Infographic on 5 thoughts on excess weight in cats

This is a pretty basic infographic but I feel that it is useful to restate the basics from time to time. It depends on the person but there is no doubt that many cat owners still don’t really understand the need to watch calorie input and to burn more energy through exercise. For humans that means being tough on oneself. In older age when the human metabolism declines, there has to be a steep reduction in the amount of food eaten. Cat metabolism declines at a much earlier age with neutering. But the issue is easily overcome if it results in weight gain.

Infographic on 5 thoughts on excess weight in domestic cats.
Infographic on 5 thoughts on excess weight in domestic cats. Image by MikeB at PoC.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Perhaps the single biggest reason for weight gain in domestic cats is the simplest: overfeeding. It is so easy to drift into this error in cat caregiving. Sometimes cats can become obsessed with food out of boredom and some foods are addictive. I am fortunate in that my male cat, if anything, has the opposite problem. He can be slender. He can eat what he likes when he likes including treats and there is no weight gain.

The main reason is that he is an indoor/outdoor cat. He burns an awful lot of energy, most of it at night when he is very active. It highlights the potential downside of the current trend to a full-time indoor cat lifestyle.

Keeping a cat indoors full-time is not simply about closing the exterior doors and windows. It requires the provision of an adequate and effective substitute to the outdoors as a place where domestic cats burn energy and stimulate their minds. Nowhere near enough cat caregivers make the effort to do this.

Weight loss

Once obesity in a feline is recognised and it doesn’t always happen as the owner has normalised it, driving down a cat’s weight can be hard as it is tricky to see gradual weight loss and it has to be gradual to avoid fatty liver disease. Also, it requires a change in human attitude, a bit step sometimes.

The key is commitment and to weigh the cat every two or three weeks when on a weight reducing diet. When the target weight has been attained there needs to be a new, long-term diet which exactly meets the energy burning needs of the cat concerned and not a return to the old ways.

Below are some more articles on obesity.

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